Monday, April 29, 2013

If It Ain't Broke... Break It

I love to rearrange furniture. Sometimes I am not so smart about taking a break and quitting before I go to far.

Well, apparently this time I went to far and managed to tweak a muscle in my back. Pretty bad. Bad enough that I couldn't take a deep breath. I went to the E.R. because, despite the fact that I have fractured my back and have given birth, this was pretty close to the worse pain I had ever felt. And the whole not-being-able-to-breath thing was a bit scary.

So, kidney stones were ruled out as well as a blood clot. That left an injured muscle. Very injured. But, not much can be done for it.

And of course, I didn't get all of the rearranging done that I wanted to. Thankfully what I did get done looks pretty good.

If I do say so myself.

New Bookcases (2)
Emma setting up her new bookcases- both designated for horses and horse books

New Bookcases (4)
Making sure Saige and Picaso are all settled. 

New Bookcases (7)
Non-horse books.

Emma had ideas about making a house for Saige and Picaso, so we got to work. 

Saige's House (8)
The door was Emma's idea.

Saige's House
The inside

Saige's House (3)
Showing Gramma Saige's house

Saige's House (6)
Good Night Saige!

And with that, I will also say goodnight! I hope to get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Drive, Getting Settled, and Time with Gramma

The drive from Iowa to Montana was interesting. We left on Saturday with the intent to stay in Rapid City, SD. We made it there, with some rain starting just as we pulled into the city.

Our original plan from there was to make a small detour over to the Pryor Mountains so we could try to catch a view of some wild mustangs. With winter storm warnings starting the next day at noon for pretty much all of Montana, I really had no desire to be on some back road. I just wanted to get home. So, we made the decision to push on to Billings, and see what it looks like from there.

At one point, I think Sheridan, WY, we thought we were going to need to stop. I put a call in to my weather man (Jared always lets me know what the weather is), we decided to push on to Billings.

We hit some snow, some rain, some hail, and some sunshine, but it was all pretty easy going.

We stopped in Billings and ate at HuHots. Yummy.

It looked pretty clear on the radar for the rest of the way to Great Falls (again, I consulted my weather man), so we pressed on.

As we came to one junction, there was a sign "Watch for changing road conditions." Both Gramma and I wondered what that meant.

It didn't take long to figure it out. Driving along with beautiful weather, all of a sudden we are in fog. Ok, lasts about 10 minutes or so then beautiful (though windy) weather. Every so often there would be spots where the snow had drifted over the highway. No biggie, just slow down a bit.

Then it was like we entered a different room. It literally felt like we opened a door and entered a completely different room. Snow was falling fast and sideways thanks to the wind. The road was covered with snow with only faint tire tracks showing, it got darker.

I thought, "Oh crap, I'm doing 70!" Thankfully the road stayed straight and I was able to just let off the gas till we got down to a safer speed.

Just as suddenly we were out of the crappy "room." The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, but the truck felt like it was driving a bit funny.

This would be why.

Ice Much (2)
Wheel wells are full of ice

Ice Much
Almost couldn't get out of the truck! The layer of ice was pretty thick.

It took a few days and a trip to the car wash to get the rest of the ice melted off. The ice was so thick it was making the shocks in the front "thunk" when I would go over bumps. 

Oh well, we made it safe and in 2 days. Poor Gramma. We didn't do nearly enough walking for her, but sometimes that happens. We have made up for it since we've been back. 

Walking with Gramma Day1

Walking with Gramma (2)

Windy Walk with Saige

Well, maybe we haven't done as much walking as I thought, but Gramma did go for an hour long walk on her own today. In the 24 mph winds. She must really have been desperate to get away from us!

We've been busy doing a whole lotta nothing. There was some video game playing,

Playing Disney Universe
Disney Universe

some shopping, we went to see The Croods (and loved it!), we did some thrift store treasure hunting (and brought home a big stack of books!), and Gramma got to meet Meggie and Jill.

Emma Gramma and Meggie
Meggie is hiding behind Otis, both of them are eating their breakfast

Emma and Meggie
Emma and Meggie

Emma was so happy to be back with Meggie. Emma kept hugging and snuggling Meggie, trying to feed her, and just smiling huge. She was also happy to see Jill, though I didn't take any pictures. We found out a week or two ago, that Jill has found a new place to do her training and lessons from. It's a bit closer to us, so we may be spending lots more time out at the barn. Yeah! 

Oh, and the other big news is that Emma bought herself an American Girl Doll. Meet Saige, lover of art and horses. 

Emma, Saige, and Picaso

Sounds like someone else we know. These dolls are not cheap, but Emma has really wanted one for a little while now. She talked about how she was going to earn the money, save it up, and buy Saige. She has some money in her savings account from past holiday's so we let her dip into that for the Saige ($110), but that she would have to work to earn some money and save up for Picaso, the horse ($94). At first she was all worried because the Saige doll is only going to be available for 2013, Picaso also. 

What she didn't know was that Jared and I had decided to get Picaso for her as a half-birthday gift. She was SO happy when the boxes came. Gramma and Boppa pitched in and bought Emma the saddle package for her half-birthday as well. 

Emma has been busy with Saige and Picaso ever since. Don't be surprised if you see lots more posts about the newest members of the household. Emma has lots of plans for them. 

I hope that Spring is finally arriving for everyone! Other than the wind (which is typical of Great Falls), the weather has been pretty nice since we got back. Beats the non-stop rainy, snowy, drizzle that we had in Iowa, though we couldn't have asked for better company. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Some Phone Photos

Emma and I are having a blast in IA. I finally got around to getting the photos off my phone. Enjoy!

Cresco, Apr13 (7)
Out to eat

Hiking (4)
Hiking/Drawing in Colorado

Hiking (6)
Hiking in Colorado

The Merritt's (4)
Playing at Friends house

The Merritt's (9)
Taking advantage of the one sunny day- Soup over the fire at a Friends house. YUM!

The Merritt's (10)
A sad girl cause it's about time to head back to Gramma's.

The Merritt's (12)
Two days of non-stop play, a super late night (midnight!), and about 8 hours in the fresh air and sun makes for a tired girl. 

The Merritt's (13)
A photo from Nov '12, right before we moved. 

Sort of random, but I'll try to write up a more detailed post soon. 

Hope everyone is having warmer weather than we have been!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Welcome Izzy!

We found a truck!

Izzy- Day 1 (4)
F-150 XLT, 4WD, Supercrew, 3.5L,  V6 EcoBoost with a 6.5 ft bed. 

Yes, this does mean that Emma and I will be hitting the road. We have decided to swing through Iowa to visit friends and stay with family for a week or so. 

Then we plan to kidnap Gramma and drag her to Montana with us. (Shh, don't tell her) 

Jared tried to convince me to drive through NH as well so that Emma and I would have to take the car (we'll be putting less miles on Izzy with our drive to IA and MT then Jared will with his drive to CA and MT). 

While I would love to visit the east coast, I don't really feel like being on the road that much (sorry guys!) 

Well, that's about it. Emma and I hit the road tomorrow morning (Jared plans to console himself with a mountain bike ride), and should be at Gramma and Boppa's on Monday night. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hello Texas!

We made it safely to Texas on Sunday after many long days on the road. Self-induced long days, but still. Long.

Our first day on the road was a very late start. Jared didn't get his paperwork until around 1:00 pm. By the time he got home, we got packed and everything into the car, it was 3:00 pm. After a stop at the grocery store for some last minute snacks and to fuel up, we finally hit the road just before 4:00 pm.

We didn't pull into Casper, WY until midnight. Thankfully the traffic was non-existent and the roads were nice.

Our second day on the road was long, but pretty fun. We stopped somewhere in Wyoming (just before we got into Colorado I think) and hiked/biked for about 2 hours.

It was chilly, windy, and it even snow/rained on us for the first few minutes. But it was fun.

Hiking in Wyoming (5)
Cool rock formation that we climbed on

Hiking in Wyoming (11)
Snack Break

Hiking in Wyoming (16)
Emma stalking the local wildlife

Hiking in Wyoming (17)
No, I was not eating two beef sticks at once. I was holding Emma's so she could stalk wildlife.

Hiking in Wyoming (23)
It was pretty chilly, so we only lasted for an hour. We hung out in the car for the second hour drawing and goofing off. Then Da got back! 

Oh, this place also had horse trails. Just after Da got back, three horses (and their riders) got back from their trail ride. Emma and I went over to say hi while Da got changed and packed back up. Emma loved it :0)

We ended up getting to our next hotel around 8ish, but we needed to run to REI to pick up some hiking pants for Emma and some electrolytes for Jared. We closed them up at 9pm, then headed over to Whole Foods to pick up some snacks and other yummy foods for the rest of the trip. We closed them up at 9:30. 

We finally got back to the hotel and crashed about 10:30. 

Our third day was much the same. We drove 50 minutes out of our way to hit an "epic trail" for Jared to ride. Emma and I hiked again. It was GORGEOUS! We were pretty high up, elevation wise, the air was warm and smelled like pine trees and fresh air, and it was just a beautiful day. I don't have any pictures (Jared had the camera), but we do have some awesome memories. Emma and I hiked for an hour, stopped to rest, refuel, and draw a bit. Then we headed back. We got back about 10 minutes before Jared. It was a wonderful hike. 

We had planned to drive to Amarillo, TX for the night, but when we saw that there was a La Quinta in Dumas, we called it a night (only about 45 minutes early). It was 11 something and Emma had passed out about 45 minutes before we pulled in. Once in, we all took showers, then hit the hay. 

Our last day was about 5 hours on the road. We stayed one night on base, but now we are off base. 

There isn't enough family lodging on base for Emma and I to stay for the  month, and Jared is not allowed to sleep off base, so Emma and I plan to head home on Monday or Tuesday of next week. We plan to head down to Dallas Friday night, stay till Sunday, and try to find a truck. It we are able to find one we want, Emma and I will drive that home on Monday. If no luck on the truck, Emma and I will probably take the train to Cresco (as long as Gramma and Boppa don't mind picking us up and putting up with us for a week or so), then we'll rent a car and drive home. 

Or, you know, we'll fall on plan Z if nothing else works. We're good at plan Z. 

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter!